Inadequate Staffing

A large number of nursing home abuse and neglect cases can be attributed to a single problem: inadequate nursing home staffing.  It is the number one complaint of residents and families alike, and plagues nursing home throughout California.

According to Charlene Harrington, Ph.D. of UCSF, a professor of nursing and sociology, and widely considered an expert on nursing home staffing, the nursing home staffing picture in California isn’t pretty.  She has said that there are over 12 million staffing deficiencies in U.S. nursing homes annually, and that approximately one-quarter to one-third of all nursing homes provide substandard care because of problems related to staffing.

Sufficient staffing is the number one indicator of the quality of care one can expect to receive in a nursing home, says Harrington. California requires that a licensed skill nursing facility provide at a minimum of 3.2 hours of nursing, per patient, per day. While this is a minimum standard, most California facilities view it as the threshold, striving only to meet it.  In fact, care provided by registered nurses has been declining in California, which now has one of the lowest RN per patient, per day ratios in the country.

Harrington says those that view California’s 3.2 hours as more a ceiling than a floor are operating on dangerous footing, emphasizing that 3.2 hours is a minimum requirement. Adequate care for most facilities, she says, requires much more nursing, and believes the law should be changed to require 4.1 hours per patient, per day.

Ultimately, those facilities that provide more licensed nursing per patient, per day, tend to have fewer problems and a more satisfied patient population.

Walton Law Firm has successfully prosecuted nursing homes in civil courts for harm to residents due to the failure to provide adequate staffing.  If you have questions about care provided to your loved one, please submit your confidential questionnaire online, or call Walton Law Firm for a free and private consultation. We can be reached toll free at (866) 607-1325 or locally at (760) 607-1325.
Southern California Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog - Staffing